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Ethical Intuitionism

Michael Huemer (Palgrave: January 2008), 336 pages.

A defense of ethical intuitionism where (i) there are objective moral truths; (ii) we know these through an immediate, intellectual awareness, or "intuition"; and (iii) knowing them gives us reasons to act independent of our desires. The author rebuts the major objections to this theory and shows the difficulties in alternative theories of ethics. • "Read this. It is the best book ever written on meta-ethics. Even philosophers who know the field may feel as though they are confronting these issues for the first time. I used to think of ethical intuitionism as a silly, naIve, even ridiculous theory, but Michael Huemer has made an intuitionist out of me." ~ Stuart Rachels, University of Alabama • "Huemer’s book may be the best, most comprehensive defense of ethical intuitionism since Moore’s Principia Ethica…[it] is an outstanding defense of the view that there are objective moral truths knowable through intuition. Whether or not one agrees with Huemer’s conclusions, one cannot ignore the power of his arguments." ~ Richard Fumerton, University of Iowa

Table of Contents

    • 1    Introduction    1
    • 2    Non-cognitivism    17
    • 3    Subjectivism    48
    • 4    Reductionism    66
    • 5    Moral knowledge    99
    • 6    Disagreement and error    128
    • 7    Practical reasons    155
    • 8    Further objections    199
    • 9    Conclusion    224